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Who Is Bear Stearns' Biggest Loser?

FINANCE • Joseph Lewis, the British billionaire who built up his stake in Bear Stearns last summer, lost about $1.6 billion this past weekend, approximately half of his entire fortune. Bear's biggest investor, Dallas-based money manager James Barrow, whose firm had a 9.95 percent stake, also lost big — at least $750 million. Activist shareholder Bruce Sherman and departed CEO James Cayne each lost big on their 5 percent stakes, although Cayne might not care so much: He just closed on a $28.24 million Plaza pad and spent late last week playing bridge in a tournament in Detroit. [Bloomberg] • Meanwhile, Bear's "fire sale" is spreading like wildfire down the street, singing Lehman Brothers, among other top banks. [DealBook/NYT] • And Barry Diller's IAC is "sputtering." [NYT]

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Eliot Spitzer Hires Guides to Keep Him From Washing Down River of Despair

LAW • Eliot Spitzer has been careful about the lawyers he's selected to protect him against potential charges related to his activities with random twentysomething hookers, hiring a set of heavy hitters from white-collar crime specialists Paul, Weiss, Rifkind, Wharton & Garrison. He's right to be choosy: "Hiring a lawyer is not unlike selecting a river guide," the Times says today. "One wants a professional who not only steers clear of the rapids but does so in a reassuring manner. It also helps if he knows what to do should the boat hit the rocks." Yeah. That's just how we would have put it. [NYT] • A New York court rules that the daughter of a Jell-O heiress is not entitled to a taste of the multi-million-dollar fortune. [New York Law Journal] • Is Hillary Clinton's legal background hindering her campaign? [Law.com]

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New York Public Library Lions to Become Schwarzman's Kittens

FINANCE • As Blackstone's profit sinks 89 percent, Stephen Schwartzman gets the New York Public Library on Fifth Avenue and 42nd Street named after him. The naming rights came with a very generous $100 million donation, but we're not sure we're ready to go have lunch on the lovely steps of "Schwarzman." It'll feel like we're an undergrad at Penn or something. [NYT] • Wall Street says "There is a God" as its longtime persecutor, Eliot Spitzer, falls from grace. [NYT] • Lehman Brothers, the largest underwriter of U.S. mortgage bonds, plans to lay off 5 percent of its workforce, which is about 1,400 people. Meanwhile, Bear Sterns, the second-biggest underwriter of mortgage bonds, lost more than $1.3 billion in market value yesterday as investors worried about the firm's liquidity. [NYP, NYP]

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Angelo Mozilo Just Wants to Help People

LAW • After testifying in front of the House Committee on Government and Oversight Reform last week about the gargantuan pay package he picked up while his company hemorrhaged money, Countrywide CEO Angelo Mozilo made Congress a nice little offer: "Mr. Mozilo said he had left a card in each Congressional office with a help line for constituents having problems with their loans. He added that if the number didn’t work, “call me— I take this very seriously.’” [NYT] • Since the federal death-penalty statute was revived in 1998, New York federal juries have been reluctant to impose the death sentence. [NYT] • You know those ads for legal firms in the Metro? Yeah, they're really not all that effective. [Legal Blog Watch]

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Another Sad Day for Schwarzman

FINANCE • Where has all of Steve Schwarzman's money gone? A report saying that his fund would earn less than half of what was predicted caused Blackstone's stock price to tumble. [NYP] • Former Countrywide Financial, Citigroup, and Merrill Lynch execs get ready to explain to Congress why they got huge paychecks as their shareholders lost billions. [DealBook/NYT] • Financier Carl Icahn ups his stake in Motorola. [DealBook/NYT]

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‘Esquire’ Feels That Heath Ledger’s Final Days Haven’t Been Examined Tastelessly Enough

MEDIAEsquire reports on how Heath Ledger spent his last days... except the story is not exactly true. Or, um, tasteful. [Vulture] • Let the deluge begin! Media companies line up to bid for Weather Channel, which is up for auction. [DealBook/NYT] • Wal-Mart appears to be irritated by Meredith Corporation's creative tactic of selling its magazines, which include Better Homes and Garden and Ladies' Home Journal, at the Dollar Tree store. [Folio]

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Rupert Murdoch Isn't Ruining the ‘Journal’ — the Reporters Are

MEDIA • You know how the stories in The Wall Street Journal have gotten punchier and shorter? Yeah, well, apparently it is not the great soft hand of Rupert Murdoch making these changes. The journalists are cleaving to him of their own free will. "Our people are doing this in advance, I think, to make him happy," a reporter told the Washington Post. [WP] • "Is the Hillary Clinton campaign staffed with morons or do they just not care anymore? It is unbelievable that on the night before the Texas and Ohio (and Vermont and Rhode Island) primaries they would set up an impromptu press room in a freaking men's bathroom, complete with urinals." [HuffPo] • Fox and CNN to go head-to-head. [Mixed Media/Portfolio]

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Sickos Behind Marketing for Airborne Were Lying to Us All

LEGAL • Manhattan's Tonic East restaurant will pay $35,000 to settle a lawsuit alleging that the eatery discriminated against blacks wearing hip-hop clothing and urban wear to a Super Tuesday event for Barack Obama supporters. [NYT] • Office procrastinators might have to look for a new method for wasting time: Scrabulous is under fire. [DealBook/Alley Insider] • Airborne, the cold-relieving drug of choice for many cube dwellers around the city, will pay $23.3 million to settle claims of false advertising. Says one critic, "Airborne is basically on overpriced, run-of-the-mill vitamin pill that's been cleverly, but deceptively, marketed." Holy wow. Anyone want to come together and ratchet this up to class-action against "second-grade teacher" founder Victoria Knight-McDowell? [CNN]

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Reporters Pissed About Changes at ‘The Wall Street Journal’

MEDIAThe Wall Street Journal wants a cut in its reporters' book deals. Also, they fired their longtime First Amendment lawyer Stuart Karle. "We're pissed," one reporter says. [NYO, Ad Age] • Former Condé Nast execs James Truman and Mitch Fox are collaborating on a project that will combine "a green market and eco-technology with a Cirque du Soleil-like performance series." [WWD]

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Barack Is the New Brangelina!

MEDIA • Turns out Barack Obama's underwear is more interesting to Us Weekly readers than Britney Spears's custody battles. A Q&A with the Chicago senator in which he refused to answer the boxers-or-briefs question generated the some of the highest-ever traffic for a single article on the site, second only to news of Heath Ledger's death [WWD] • The Sam Zell bloodbath continues: The Tribune Co. owner axes 120 Newsday jobs. [NYP] •Is Matt Drudge the world's most powerful journalist? [Telegraph] • The FBI isn't happy with a recent Rolling Stone article on the Joint Terrorism Task Forces. [Mixed Media/Portfolio]

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Katie Couric Must Really Hate Goldfish

MEDIA • Katie Couric's YouTube channel provides real service journalism: While chitchatting with Joe Biden, the CBS anchor recommends viewers tune into her favorite viral video — the one where a little girl watches her goldfish get flushed down the toilet. [HuffPo] • The New York Times op-ed columnists can't endorse political candidates. This "isn't a problem" for Maureen Dowd because she doesn't "do a partisan column." [NYO] • Vegas, take note: Big Apple broadsheets are front-runners in the race for the Pulitzers. [E&P]

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Scott Galloway Raises Stake, Prepares to Plunge It Into Heart of ‘NYT’

FINANCE • Ah, so that's where all the G5s on the Teterborough tarmac were headed! The private-equity world descends upon Munich for the annual spectacularly named Super Return conference. [DealBook/NYT] • Vagilante Scott Galloway and Harbinger Capital Partners raise their stake in the Times to just over 19 percent. [NYP] • Hey, everyone! Hedge funds are a risk to the entire financial system! No duh. [Business Week]

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Joe Dolce, Former ‘Star’ Editor, Gets a Taste of ‘Culture’

MEDIA • Former Star editor-in-chief Joe Dolce resurfaces, bringing Culture & Travel magazine back into the spotlight. [WWD] • Former Seventeen editrix Atoosa Rubenstein resurfaces, bringing Alpha Kitty back into the spotlight. [HuffPo] • And for those wondering how to keep tabs on colleagues who are masthead hopping, check out e-newsletter Gorkana, brought to your in-box by friendly PR people. [NYT]

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Lawyers Advocate an Oscar for 'Michael Clayton' — That George Clooney Makes Them Look So Good!

LEGAL • Lawyers everywhere are crossing their fingers for a Michael Clayton Oscar win. "In 80 years, only 10 legal movies or actors playing members of the legal community have taken home gold," a columnist sighs. Awwwwww. Wait a second. We didn't do the math, but isn't that more than like, every other profession? How many people playing bloggers have won Oscars, for instance? Slickster lawyers. Always trying to trick us with their fancy talk. [Law.com] • Could John Edwards be our next attorney general? [The American] • The Sean Bell "50-shot" case is set to go to trial on Monday. [NYT]

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Just in Time for ‘Times’ McCain Scuffle, ‘Time’ Editor Says Papers Shouldn't Endorse Candidates

MEDIA • What is the New York Police Department's policy for awarding press credentials? Journalists wonder the same thing. [NYT] • Time managing editor Rick Stengel ponders why newspapers endorse political candidates at a time when news consumers doubt the objectivity of the media. [Time] • Details of the deal that Newsweek struck with George W. Bush's former brain have emerged: It's a two-year, sixteen-column contract. [NYO]

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The Gray Lady Lets Jim Impoco Come Crawling Back

MEDIA • Fired Portfolio editor Jim Impoco makes his comeback at The New York Times Magazine, where he'll be a consulting editor. [NYO] • NBC puts its traditional glitzy advertising on the back burner. That's really too bad for the girl who was hoping to be assigned to keep tabs on John Krasinski during the day of the presentations. [NYP] • Nielsen CEO David Calhoun charts a new course for his media-measuring company. [Fortune]

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Jane Fonda's Vocab Malfunction Might Affect FCC's Ruling on Janet Jackson's Nipples

LAW • Jane Fonda's vocabulary malfunction on NBC's Today show last week might influence the legal battle between CBS and the FCC over Janet Jackson's wardrobe malfunction in her 2004 Super Bowl halftime appearance. [Legal Intelligencer] • New York City criminal-defense lawyer Jeffrey Schwartz receives support for representing the accused murderer of a 7-year-old girl. [NYT] • Are television shows the reason lawyers get a bad rap? [Law.com]

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